LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A trip to the doctor is going digital. Lee Mental Health is partnering with other agencies to launch an all-new Telemedicine program, allowing a patient to meet with a doctor without ever being in the same room.
"It's our sort of call back to the era of country doctors. When the service went out to people, instead of people having to go out to the service," Lee Mental Health's Dr. Donald Baracskay said.
Lee Mental Health just got a $50,000 grant for their Telemedicine program. It will allow patients and doctors to meet through teleconferencing. Doctors hope the new technology will speed up treatment time.
"One of the biggest problems most people have with treatment has nothing to do with quality. It has everything to do with access. This is a method of improving access for treatment," Baracskay said Tuesday.
If you visit one of the four participating agencies, data from stethoscopes and EKG's can be instantly transmitted from one site to another. Then, you can meet with your physician via streaming video and even get examined. Dr. Baracskay explains one of their new, virtual otoscopes.
"This actually uses a camera that projects it onto a computer screen so that somebody remotely can see the inside of an ear or the inside of a throat," Baracksay said.
The Telemedicine program is the first of its kind in Lee County, but doctors say it's going to become a trend.
"The fact is, people in younger generations are very keen on using technology such as this. Even earlier today, I made the case that in 10 or 15 years from now, this will be very commonplace in terms of how people get a lot of their treatment," Baracskay said.
Lee Mental Health doctors hope to also have video-conferencing at health agencies in Glades and Hendry counties set up by the end of the year.